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Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital working on solutions to address critical staffing shortages

The hospital said recruitment efforts are underway which include hiring additional nurses and creating more nursing positions to support all areas of the hospital.

The Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital (PSFDH) board of directors met with hospital management on Tuesday, June 28 to address critical staffing shortages—something only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a release, the hospital said they don't anticipate closures of any departments or services. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, the PSFDH said, there has been a critical shortage of staff, but they're not the only ones dealing with this. 

"Hospital management has been dealing with a worsening staffing situation for months," the hospital noted, adding that they find themselves in similar positions to all hospitals not only in the province but across Canada, especially when it comes to filling vacant staff positions.

They are working on creative solutions with physicians and hospital management to address the vacancies by increasing recruitment efforts. This includes recruiting through agency nursing, financial incentives, creation of additional (new) nursing positions to support all areas of the hospital, and reaching out to retired nurses.

The PSFDH said they are continuing to consult with staff and physicians on other solutions to address their staffing crisis. 

Dr. Alan Drummond, an emergency care physician in Perth and co-chair pf the public affairs committee of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians told The Rob Snow Show on Wednesday, June 29 that nurses have been saying for years that they are stretched too thin. 

"Nobody was quick to respond until it turned into a crisis," he said. 

Dr. Drummond said until nursing staff can get up to an acceptable level, the idea of an after hours urgent care clinic should be considered. 

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Alan Drummond below:

 

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